Watermelons actually belong to the same species as cucumber, pumpkins and squash so while it is treated like a fruit, it can also be classified as a veggie! In fact Oklahoma in the United States, just declared it as their state vegetable. Veggie or fruit – Watermelons are definitely one of the top cooling foods of the season. Full off nutritious components like vitamins, minerals, sodium and plenty of fibre, they also have a high water content which helps keep you hydrated through the scorching summer months in India!
3 reasons to eat watermelon
Water and more
The edible part of this wonder vegetable consists mostly of water, 95.8%. The other nutrients present are 0.2% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.3% carbohydrates and 0.3% minerals as well as vitamin A, B6 and C. It also contains fibre and potassium. Watermelon has virtually no fat or cholesterol.
It is the presence of lycopene, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant, that gives watermelon its sensual red colour. And this makes watermelon refreshing and sweet. Also it's a healthy food choice that may help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. Antioxidant carotenoids found in watermelon include significant amounts of beta-caroten which like lycopene, increases with ripening.
Watermelon seeds contain selenium, essential fats, zinc and vitamin E, all of which help against free radical damage and aging. Both the flesh and seeds of the watermelon are leaded with nutrients, blend them together in a food processor and drinking as a juice. Chewing the seed is essential so that it doesn’t pass right through your digestive system rather than being broken down and absorbed. Also, occasionally swallowing a few doesn’t amount to much.
Super Summer Recipes
One of the most delicious things you can do with these fruits is - Fill a tall glass with chunks or balls ,scooped with the help of a melon ball scooper and top it with some chilled tangy lemon or orange juice and some mint leaves to make a refreshing drink. To double up as a delicious dessert add a dollop of light whipped cream infused with lemon zest on top. Or just cut roundels of this juicy fruit, soak them in some orange juice insert skewers on one end and make juicy sweet watermelon lollypops out of them – a definite hit with the kids.
Here are 3 more chilled out watermelon recipes.
Watermelon and Fresh Mozzarella Salad – Chunks of juicy watermelon, fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil skewered and drizzled with a balsamic dressing! This recipe is perfect for a summer party because it is fancy to look at, simple to make and delicious to eat.
Watermelon Cooler with Basil Seeds - More popularly known as sabza, basil seeds are just the perfect remedy to lower body heat. A cooling food loaded with anti-viral, anti-oxidant and digestive properties, this slimy tadpole like seeds with the cooling properties of watermelon wont not just satisfy your thirst, but also cools you from the inside out!
Watermelon and Shrikhand Bites – This one is a brilliant mix of flavours and texture and you will be wowed every time you pop one of these chilled out creamy yogurt and juicy watermelon bites in your mouth. It is a fool proof way to beat the summer heat.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.